Tonight the European People’s Party (EPP) ENVI group elected Julie Girling as their deputy coordinator. She succeeds the Austrian MEP Elisabeth Köstinger who left the European Parliament to become Agriculture Minister in Austria. Girling’s election is remarkable considering that she joined the EPP just three weeks ago, after she quit the European Conservatives and Reformists Group. Mrs Girling had the Conservative whip suspended in October after supporting a resolution in Strasbourg declaring that “sufficient progress” had not been made in the Brexit talks to move on to further discussions on the future relationship between the UK and EU. She joined the European People’s Party whose approaches she believes “will more effectively further the prospects of achieving the best possible future for our constituents”. Peter Liese, EPP-coordinator in the ENVI committee, has welcomed the election result: “Over the last 9 years, I have got to know Julie as a hard-working and capable colleague and I am looking forward to developing our work together on the ENVI committee.” Mrs Girling said "I am very grateful for this vote of confidence from my new EPP colleagues. I shall be working hard to make a contribution to the committees work in what is shaping up to be a very busy final year of the mandate."